White/Black Race Mixing
by Rev. LeRoy Gardner
America, “The land of the free and home of the brave,” is allegedly a haven for the oppressed and downtrodden. Immigrants from virtually every continent and nation still come to these shores seeking freedom and opportunity, with the exception of black Africans, who were ripped from their motherland, chained and shackled, and cast on foreign strand. Shorn of humanity born; stripped of freedom, naked, hopeless, and forlorn.
This nation is indeed a “melting pot,” a cauldron of race mixing. Europeans have practiced sexual activity with the native Indian population since their arrival—however, this treatise is not about such activity.
During slavery, escaped slaves would often be taken in by Indian tribes, which is certainly understandable; the two oppressed nonwhite people had much in common. Many of these male slaves were physically big and strong, dominant in persona, and became warriors and rose to leadership. Needless to say, romantic/sexual relationships developed. Interestingly, my mother's father, “Big Papa” Washington, an emancipated slave, married an Indian maiden in Oklahoma. This union produced three offspring including my mother, Lena. Mixed-race Lena married Littleton Gardner, the progeny of a mixed-race mother who was the progeny of the slave master and one of his female chattels. To this union, I and four other siblings were born. Note this scenario: I and my dear sister and three brothers (now deceased) have European, Indian, and African ancestry. I'm mixed-race but I've always considered myself an African American. I am in reality a product of the “melting pot” syndrome; truly American. Because of the specter of pervasive racism, my psyche has been conditioned by the nomenclatures of colored, Negro, black (and my skin color is not black), and now African-American to ever be separate, suspect, unequal, denied, and excluded. America, America, may God not forgive, for you know what you do….
From the day the first slaves arrived on these shores, some white males, who of course exercised undisputed power, took sexual advantage of female chattels. During this dark era in American history, sexual activity between white males and female slaves, though never attaining respectability or social acceptance, was not actively condemned. It was common practice for the slave master to select young, healthy female slaves for his exclusive sexual pleasure. These females lived in enforced concubinage, sometimes receiving better housing, clothing, food, and perhaps privileges not afforded the other slaves. On some plantations such females were sometimes quartered in the master-house, trained in the culture and etiquette of the day and available for the comfort and pleasure of male guests.
Adolescent sons of slave owners were often permitted to select a black “wench” who represented an acceptable sexual outlet and prevented promiscuity with the daughters of neighboring plantation owners. Impregnation of the “wench” was encouraged since this insured a constant supply of “mulatto” children, who were in great demand as household servants, bringing double the price of pure black slaves. No effort was made to curtail the violation of black womanhood; every effort was made to protect the “purity” of white womanhood.
After emancipation, the philandering southern male did not miraculously lose his desire for his black paramour. Sometimes he became emotionally impacted. No longer is she his black female chattel; now he has to curry her favor. What a deserved dilemma! Under cover of darkness, sex-seeking white males regularly visit black neighborhoods seeking “nice, clean colored girls.” Tragically, many young females are introduced to prostitution by greedy, mercenary sex-procurers or pimps.
Are you wondering why white males from laborer to professional, from pauper to wealthy scion, seek black sex partners? Are you wondering why an intelligent, successful, productive white male married to a beautiful, charming, cultured Anglo-Saxon female would seek a nocturnal rendezvous under the most sordid circumstances, in a most unromantic atmosphere in the ghetto with a black, possibly AIDS infected prostitute? Why would he jeopardize his marriage, career, reputation, even his life and limb to have sex with a black harlot?
I don't know all the answers, however psychologists are agreed. Promiscuous sexual activities, whether premarital or extramarital, may be symptomatic of deep-seated emotional or psychological problems. Perhaps the following considerations will shed some light on the subject.
First, let us consider the “love goddess” image versus the “sex symbol” that grew out of the concept in Western society that true love does not include the erotic. A very definite line is drawn between “love” and “sex,” and far too many men are unable to reconcile or merge the two. One loves and marries the “love goddess,” and indulges in sex with the other. Psychologists, marriage counselors, and ministers alike recognize that love and sex must be merged in a satisfactory marriage relationship. Men who fail to merge the two are self-conscious and embarrassed, and such men can even be rendered impotent while engaging in sexual intimacies with a “love goddess.” In order for him to function effectively in the sex act, he must have a “sex symbol” partner. This type of female represents the “bad” girl and merits no love or respect. In a relationship with this type of female, the elements of tenderness or affection, desires and needs, no matter how inordinate or aberrant, including cunnilingus and fellatio.
The black female is the perfect “sex symbol” to many white males. Such a male considers her his social inferior, perhaps even barbaric, exotic, erotic, sexually uninhibited, an ideal sex partner. He can express sexual inclinations and perform acts with her that he would be ashamed to reveal to his beautiful “love goddess” wife.
Secondly, let us consider the emotional vacuum that exists in many American marriages, which can be due to numerous factors. American white males are often reluctant, less poised, and perhaps less vocal in discussing their sexual attitudes and desires to their wives than, for instance to southern Europeans, Latin Americans, African-Americans and other supposedly less sophisticated groups. Perhaps civilization, with all its attendant complexities and implications and nuances, is responsible for these developments. However, it seems, some white males cannot and do not effectively concentrate on necessary emotional communication with their partners during lovemaking. This lack of emotional communication with their partners causes a rift, seriously affecting, if not destroying, compatibility between the partners. Silence in the bedroom is deadly to mutual satisfaction.
Resentment, anger, fear, or worry on the part of either party can be a major obstacle to sexual compatibility. A great many of the sexual difficulties in marriage may not necessarily be due to ignorance, or faulty or even poor technique, which can be corrected, but to repressed anger and frustration on the part of the husband or wife. Many cases of impotence or frigidity can be traced to an unconscious desire for punishment or revenge against an incompatible or uncooperative spouse.
Often business pressure is the culprit responsible for the emotional vacuum. A harried, ulcer-suffering businessman or executive, worried about production, personnel problems, cost analysis sheets, financial balances, and so on, is in no physical, mental, or emotional condition to “make love” to his spouse at the end of the day. If this situation continues any length of time, the wife will eventually become resentful, unresponsive and emotionally divorced. A vicious cycle develops. The wife rejects the husband, which only adds to his frustration and possible impotence. In such situations some males seek extramarital relationships in an effort to regain their potency, which can and often does involve black prostitutes. A black prostitute is in no position to demand anything other than her price, so is, hence, submissive and cooperative. Her customer's anxieties and frustrations are relieved, so in many cases his sexual potency is restored.
Finally, although the majority of relationships between white males and black females are clandestine, we recognize that occasionally, a white male may become involved in a legitimate relationship with a black female. The reason for this, I believe, lies in the realm of prerogative and choice and does not necessarily relate to any sociological theories or laws of race mixing such as advanced by the late Lester F. Ward, the alleged father of American sociology. Ward's four laws, presented about sixty-five years ago, were based upon the southern concept of white supremacy and consequently received wide and popular acceptance. At this point, it should be of interest to examine these four laws of race mixing as he presented them:
1. The women of any race will freely accept the men of a race which they regard as higher than their own.
2. The women of any race will vehemently reject the men of a race which they regard as lower than their own.
3. The men of any race will greatly prefer the women of a race which they regard as higher than their own.
4. The men of any race, in default of women of a higher race, will be content with women of a lower race.
I now translate the fourth law: “White men in default of white women, will be content with black women.” Certainly, this law may be operable in isolated situations under adverse or uncontrollable circumstances or opportunistic situations. For instance, a white man cast upon a tropical island inhabited by primitives may choose a native female and may be temporarily content. However, in the Americas, no white man needs to be content with a black woman in default of white women, for white women greatly outnumber black women. However, we must recognize that there are some white men who prefer and choose black women over white women. And certainly the vast majority of black men prefer black women who, allegedly, represent a lower race. So, Ward's law falls under analytic scrutiny and must be relegated to the realm of personal opinion, which invariably is of value only to the one holding such opinion.
We must therefore conclude that white men or black men or men of any race will be attracted to and prefer the women of any race, including black women, for varied and valid reasons that are operable in the heterosexual relationship.
However, the white male-black female association, which usually is clandestine and promiscuous, seldom resulting in marriage, is not the serious contention. The contention is the relationship involving the black male and the white female. In the fuzzy thinking of most white Americans, black male/white female race-mixing invariably involves a contumacious black male and pitiably disturbed white female. This situation is understandably irritating to most whites who may react emotionally and perhaps unreasonably if a daughter or someone dear is involved—perhaps even hysterically and in many cases violently.
About the Book
White/Black Race Mixing: An Essay on Stereotypes and Realities
by Rev. LeRoy Gardner
Important and Informative
“This study is important.… This study is informative.… Gardner has much valuable experience…. He has been a careful observer of race relations over many years.… I am impressed by his search for roots to present day racial problems with references to slavery. His concrete personal and social observations deserve careful reading.… His account of…the trend of black males seeking white female liaisons and sometimes marriage and family in a hostile social environment is instructive.”
—J. Deotis Roberts, Research Professor of Christain Theology Duke Divinity School
Sensitive and well-reasoned
This is a sensitive and well-reasoned analysis of the ongoing interracial mixing of white and black Americans. Gardner's conclusions that America is a melting pot in which the races will be increasingly blended will not please those who wish to maintain separate race identities. The author looks at a variety of sexual relationships between the races—master/slave liaisons, prostitution, cohabitation and marriage—all of which produce mixed race offspring, many of whom can choose to live either in white or black neighborhoods. As a counselor who has interviewed and visited many mixed-race couples, Gardner is extremely aware that many of the stereotypes of White/Black couples—such as psychological maladjustment, or a way of climbing the social ladder—are of limited accuracy, or dead wrong in most cases. Most interracial marriages are based on the same motive as same race marriages—love.
REVEREND LEROY GARDNER is of mixed race descent. His father was half white and half black. His mother was the daughter of an African slave and a Native American. He founded the North Central Baptist Church in St. Paul Minnesota in 1957 and served as Pastor for 39 years. During that period he counseled and interviewed many mixed race couples. In 1997 he moved to Carmichael, California, where he has begun a new church.
Purchase this book from Paragon House
Copyright © Paragon House, reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.